Morgan Freeman criticized for opening Qatar World Cup ceremony

Morgan Freeman has been heavily criticized for helping to officially launch the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

  • READ MORE: From the archives – in honor of Morgan Freeman

The Oscar-winning actor, who helped present America’s own bid for the 2022 World Cup in 2010, narrated the opening segment “The Calling” at Al-Bayt Stadium in Doha.

He told the crowd, “We gather here as one great tribe and the earth is the tent we all live in. Football spans the globe, uniting nations in their love of the beautiful game. What brings nations together also brings communities together. We all have a story about football and how it brought us together and this country has a story all its own.”

Freeman also spoke to Qatari influencer Ghanim al Muftah, a 20-year-old FIFA World Cup ambassador who was born with caudal regression syndrome that stunts the development of the lower half of the body.

Freeman’s performance was criticized by many on Twitter, with one user writing: “For a man who played Nelson Mandela – who knew better than anyone the impact and importance of isolation on a country and its success in changing that country’s policies – it is so disappointing to see #MorganFreeman take the money and support an oppressive regime.”

Another called him a “sold out”, while one user called a Simpsons meme with a character who brings suitcases of cash back to the US.

One user also said, “I hope the qatari blood money was worth selling you for Shameful.”

Others praised the actor with one writing, “I’ve just read the full narration Morgan Freeman gave at the opening and I must say it’s captivating, the world needs to listen!”

Another added: “Morgan Freeman’s World Cup opening ceremony sketch has a rare sense of DEPTH. Beyond his blessing of a great voice is the TRUTH in his message. “What unites us here right now is so much greater than what divides us.” If only we kept to this!!!”

It comes as Qatar and the World Cup organizers have faced persistent criticism over the deaths of migrant workers in stadium construction and the country’s views on homosexuality, which is illegal in Qatar.

Earlier today (November 20), Joe Lycett threw £10,000 into a tree chipper, protesting David Beckham’s involvement.

The comedian criticized Beckham’s role as a tournament ambassador, which has reportedly earned him £10 million.

However, Robbie Williams, meanwhile, defended his decision to perform at the Qatar 2022 World Cup. “I don’t condone human rights violations anywhere,” Williams said. “But that said, if we didn’t condone human rights violations anywhere, it would be the shortest tour the world has ever known: I wouldn’t even be able to perform in my own kitchen.”

Meanwhile, BTS’ Jung Kook also performed the official World Cup song ‘Dreamers’ with Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi at the opening ceremony.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *